Once again, it's time to vote for your favourite Chinese dishes in the Chinese Restaurant Awards. This time around, the Blogger's Choice Award will be known at the Social Media Choice. Different name, but same mission - find the best of the 5 dishes selected. We met up at Shanghai House to sample the Drunken Chicken (or Wine Chicken) at Shanghai House as it is one of the aforementioned dishes including Szechuan Water-Boiled Fish, BBQ Duck, Taiwanese Pork Rice and Mango Sago.
Kicking things off was ironically the Wine Chicken sitting in a generous pool of sauce. As a result, there was no absence of xiaoshing wine flavour. This made for an impactful essence as well as enough flavour for the whole dish. There was also a good amount of saltiness. However, the chicken itself was rather dry and lifeless. On the other hand, the skin was nicely gelatinized with a thin layer of actual gelatin underneath. Up next, the Hot & Sour Soup looked appetizing with rich dark hue. Unfortunately, the broth itself lacked depth-of-flavour and merely reflected the seasoning of vinegar and chili oil. On the positive side, the viscosity was on point while there was no absence of ingredients including the appealing crunch of wood ear mushrooms and bamboo shoots (although the shoots were overpowering).
I was pretty excited to try the Xiao Long Bao because I barely remembered the last time I tried it here. Well, they were a bit disappointing because the filling was too loose and mushy. There was a good amount of soup though with a definite ginger and wine hit. The dumpling skin was a touch chewy, but nicely thin throughout. As much as Miss Vancouver Piggy warned me about the Garlic Pork, we ordered it anyways. Well, we should've listened to her as it was not very good. The slices of pork were chewy and not fatty enough. A much as there was plenty of garlic, the overall flavour profile was weak with a lack of savouriness and spice. I did enjoy the chewy cellophane noodles though.
A dish I could smell even before it hit the table was the Stir-Fried Pork Kidney. In fact, it tasted very much like the pungent aroma emanating from the plate. That wasn't necessarily a good thing though as we thought the kidney could've been prepped better as it was too strong. In terms of execution, the kidney was woefully overdone being hard and chewy. There was a decent wok heat to the dish though with caramelized sweetness. As enticing as Tofu with Crab sounded, the dish itself was a letdown. I found that the starch-thicken sauce on top was fairly bland and lacking any impact. There was a decent amount of fluffy crab present, but I didn't notice it much. The tofu was good though being silky and intact.
We then had a dish that I've not eaten in a very long time. Essentially "Singing Rice", the stach-thickened sauce with seafood and veggies make the crunchy rice crackle and pop (copyright infringement?) as it is poured on top. Well, it didn't make much noise due to the overly firm toasted rice. As for the sauce, it was fairly bland, but the ingredients were texturally on point. So with our incessant-picture taking, I think they noticed and decided to comp us dessert in the form of Steamed Sponge Cake. These multicoloured cakes were pretty to look at, but ultimately disgusting to eat. They were mealy and crumbly with a raw flour flavour. This pretty much summed up the food at Shanghai House though - hit and miss (mostly miss).
- Nice dining space
- "Okay eats"
- "Okay eats" in Richmond means better choices available
- Hit and miss